Advice on training up a paralegal? What sorts of tasks and expectations do you have of yours?

Ours knows how to file on ECF but is otherwise not an independent worker and makes a lot of mistakes. I’m a fairly recent lateral to my firm and still a junior, but I am in charge of training her and figuring out how to make us all jive as a team. Feels like the blind leading the blind but I’m determined to get this right.

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What is your paralegals experience level? If she's newer or newer to the field your in, she may be worried about speaking up with questions or worried to point out her inadequacies. Also, thinking on my own experiences, I wonder if she came from a background with a super micromanaging attorney who may have discouraged independent work. I'd talk to her about what she feels comfortable with and see if she has any particular things/tasks that she feels more comfortable with and where she feels that she needs more help. As an example, when I started (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) I was uncomfortable doing doc review without specific direction because I worries that I'd miss something. Now, I do doc review at all levels without missing a beat. Maybe your para needs to know more about the direction you like to see your cases go in, or maybe she just some ideas to bring to the table to be more efficient. Good luck and I'm so pleased that you are working to include her in the work flow. Not all attorneys will do that.

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I have 1 to 1s with my main associate on a weekly basis, run drafts by her and get markups/redlines back even if she's made the edits herself, and then just a lot of informal communication (IMs when wfh, random qs when in the office).

In terms of work, I do a lot of matter management, first drafts of docs/agreements, updates to the client and the occasions BD/Comms/thought leadership stuff.

My associate has no juniors/trainees thought and I work in a very very niche practice area, so may not be the best approach for you (but it definitely works for us!).

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